Evolution of K-Pop: How Do We Define K-pop Analyzed by Youngdae KimNews

A Japanese girl group produced by JYP Entertainment, American dramas produced by Studio Dragon, and animated series by American artists distributed through Naver Webtoon and Kakao Webtoon, the future of K-culture development is bright.
Instead of discovering and introducing Korean artists, companies are now working with people overseas to create and produce content.
In the process, many believe that the aspects of “Hallyu” or the Korean wave are naturally carried over into the international cultural industry.
Starting with K-Pop, JYP Entertainment founded a Japanese girl group called NiziU, which is a sensation in Japan. SM Entertainment and HYBE will also launch idol groups in overseas markets. Can you call that K-Pop?
If Korean films and dramas are produced overseas with foreign actors in a foreign language, can it be considered K content?
To talk about this complex topic, we have our regular guest, music critic Youngdae Kim, in the studio.

So today’s topic may be more philosophical, but it’s something that definitely needs to be addressed at some point.

Labels like JYP have successfully produced bands like NiziU made up entirely of Japanese members who sing in Japanese, and they also plan to start a similar Japanese boy band. SM Entertainment and HYBE are also planning to set up an exclusively foreign K-Pop band abroad through audition programs in the target language. All of this is part of an effort to make K-pop global. But the question is, will that count as K-pop?

We’ve had some foreign artists who have made K-pop success in Korea, like Eric Nam or Henry Lau, better known as Henry. Both are K-pop stars, but the former is American of Korean descent and the latter is Chinese-Canadian. They both speak Korean and sing in Korean. Had they sung in English from the beginning of their careers, would they have been considered “K-Pop” artists?

In one of the interviews, Eric Nam raised an important point. He said: “K-Pop is not just about groups and incredibly produced, highly choreographed pieces. It needs more representation.” K-pop literally means Korean pop music, but overseas it is mostly seen by idol groups dancing in unison. Do you think K-Pop is K-Pop because of the strictly choreographed group dance moves? Without her, will solo artists be able to gain so much popularity abroad? What is the essence of K-Pop?

Aside from the music industry, what about film and television? Studio Dragon, a major local drama production, is producing a 10-part American television series entitled “The Big Door Prize”. This is the first American drama produced by a Korean production, and it’s only the first of a dozen in preparation. Will such creations also count as “K-Content”? To what extent can we claim the “K”?

That was Youngdae Kim, who worked with us to break down the essence of what constitutes Korean content. Thanks for joining us.

By ayunda